Koizumi Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 240 (June 29, 2006)
[Lion Heart -- Message from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi]
I left Tokyo the day before yesterday and I am now in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. On my stopover in Toronto yesterday, I saw the Niagara Falls that straddle the United States (US)-Canadian border. I recalled my visit to Zimbabwe in Africa where I saw the Victoria Falls, which are one of the "big three" waterfalls in the world. The Niagara Falls are also one of the three great waterfalls and were naturally as powerful as they were magnificent. There are many waterfalls across Japan but none are of that magnitude. It is no wonder that the Niagara Falls attract tourists from all corners of the world.
Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and I will hold a summit meeting and in the evening I will arrive in Washington, DC in the US. My schedule for tomorrow includes a summit meeting with President George W. Bush early in the morning and a banquet in the evening.
In my talks with both leaders, we plan to discuss bilateral relations between Japan and Canada and Japan and the US and other wide-ranging topics such as the peace and development of the world, terrorism and infectious diseases.
On Monday, June 26, the day before I left for North America, measures for comprehensive reform of expenditure and revenue were decided with a view to restoring the financial health of central and local governments.
In order for the Japanese economy to make further advances, both restoration of financial health and an economic growth strategy must be promoted as the two wheels on the axle. Since we have persisted in reducing expenditures for some time now, I believe it will not be an easy task to make additional cuts. However, "without reform there will be no growth," that is, further rehabilitation and development of Japan will be attained only by continuing with the reforms.
By mid-July at the latest, before the start of the G8 Summit, the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform are scheduled to be approved at a Cabinet meeting. The policies will incorporate measures for comprehensive reform of expenditure and revenue and an economic growth strategy.
Continuous heavy rains mainly in the Kyushu and Shikoku regions since last weekend have caused widespread damage in and outside these regions. Prior to my departure I instructed that authorities be on heightened alert and that the government unite to take all possible measures to cope with the situation. I encourage everyone to stay poised and be prepared.
* The title of this column "Lion Heart" is a reference to the Prime Minister's lion-like hairstyle and his unbending determination to advance structural reform.
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